This summer I ended up re-doing our HTPC, I had an extra AMD BE-2300 (45W) laying around, so I figured I could make the machine into an HD capable HTPC with our HDTV. I found an Asus AM2 motherboard on ebay for under $30 shipped, but when it arrived, I found that the capacitors right at the main-ATX power plug and RAM slots were badly bulging. I had looked into re-capping before but never had the time or inclination to do it--being a construction worker in MI this summer meant I had plenty of free time
I picked up a few affordable tools and I ended up successfully fixing it, and it is now purring away nicely in our living room. I thought I was done with that until coming upon a thread here in the forums
. Forum member/moderator NeilBlanchard
had a board that he was done with due to bulging blown capacitors.
I ended up PM'ing Neil a couple weeks ago, and so here we go:
It's an Asus A7N8X Deluxe rev 2 board. SATA, dual-NIC, Firewire, and Soundstorm audio. I have DDR, AGP cards, and a trio of socket-A CPU's available, so why not give it a shot?
I had a 15/30W soldering iron--it's not really enough for this so over the summer I picked up the 40W and the 45W desoldering iron. I have some solder with flux and some really fine stuff without. Some various snips and pokey implements.
She really wanted to help. Chased her away when I fired up the irons.
No pics during this...the one I did over the summer was easier, was able to vaccum out the holes. This one had much smaller ones, I ended up going with the "melting the solder from one side and pushing the new cap through" technique (not particularly recommended). I really need to add a stainless steel pick to my tool set for cases like this (the solder won't stick to it), as well as a chisel point for the iron.
Gave it a run over night with one stick of memory in, no problems. Threw in another one and it went overnight also with no problems in dual-channel mode.
Put on the Swiftech heatsinks *grunts* and went dual-channel:
Conclusion and more information:
The tools and supplies needed for this cost under $50 to start--and the caps needed for re-capping a board are quite affordable. The iron shouldn't be more than $10-15, same with the solder-removing iron (or you could try just the bulb, or desoldering wick, the pump isn't recommended for this though I have one also). Solder is pretty cheap and a little spool or tube lasts a long time. I have some rosin flux and cleaner also.
I bought the caps both times from the CapKing
. To fix this board I bought a couple extra and picked the high end ones, it was still only $6. He has some good instructions there, also has a link to some very thorough instructions here
. I also spoke with him via email, I can definitely recommend him as a source for caps. Another site that I had looked at previously and is very informative is BadCaps.net
, though I haven't had the opportunity of purchasing from him yet.
So if you are ready to toss a board, stop and give it a shot--if you already have some of the supplies it's very affordable and could save having to get all new parts, reinstall OS, etc.
Recap your board, and you feel like a complete bad-ass